The hunt for a new winter coat can be an arduous task if you don’t know what you are looking for. The looming winter season brings with it a huge display of styles, colours, textures, prints and lengths to keep your appetite for coats satiated – if not a little confused!
Here’s our hit predictions (peppered with a little advice) on how to cut through the clutter.
Ask yourself, what function do you need your coat to perform?
Let it reflect your personality and most importantly lifestyle. Is it loud and eccentric or tailored and subtle to last year after year? Do you want a coat that’s less function, more high-fashion, or weather-proof and practical? Giving yourself some time to think through this will help focus the mind.
What is its key purpose? Do you want to be able to cover up (read: snuggle up) or wear it as a statement piece with much warmer layers underneath?
Are you looking for a life-time of pleasure or short-term satisfaction?
There’s no hard and fast rule around how many coats you buy in one year, but one idea is to try one style this year and another style the next. Go for natural fibres such as wool, cashmere or goose down for warmth and longevity. If there is one purchase not to scrimp on – it’s a new winter coat. Save your fast-fashion purchases for lower ticket items as the fabric quality is always much reduced. When it comes to fabric, you generally get what you pay for.
So what’s in fashion for winter coats?
Some of the strongest trends coming through for winter are soft hues in baby blues and pinks, camel (did that ever go out of fashion?) and strong animal textured prints like leopard. It’s oversized if you like the man-style look, belted coats featured heavily on runways as did faux fur.
Leopard: Victoria Beckham featured leopard-print belted trenches in her latest collection. Leopard as a print is timeless to a point of being an almost neutral tone.
Tapestry: Full-length and for the statement lover, tapestry coats are thick with heritage style. Either layer up on accessories for a more subtle look or pair back with denim and muted tones.
The Glam Puffer: The glam puffer is a hot ticket item this winter. As seen on many street style blogs, this can be transitioned from the football field to a dinner out. Belted and worn cinched adds a whole dimension to what would otherwise be a practical-only look.
Oversize Me: The oversized and man-style look can be a god-send for those who feel the cold. Unstructured and generally roomy, it will allow you to layer up to your heart’s content while still allowing a little style and your fashion-personality to shine through.
As the temperature plummets, here’s what’s on the fashion horizon. Hold onto your hats, coats and scarves, for there is something for everyone here. Never has a fashion season been so full of contradiction.
CLEAN LINES: A belted wool trench. A perfectly crisp shirt. The perfect pair of pants. With environmental factors pointing harshly against fast-fashion, expert tailoring and clean lines are seeing a resurgence. The buy-once, buy-better philosophy is on the up-and-up as land-fills rise to house cheap mass-produced clothes. Classic cuts and colours are also following suit in hues guaranteed to stand the test of time. Think grey-marl roll-neck sweaters and belted camel coats in high quality natural fibres. There has never been a more relevant time to think about the longevity of what we wear on our backs.
BERRIES, SPICE & ALL THINGS NICE: The new winter hues see rich colour palettes of berry tones and spicy shades – with the colour of mustard reigning supreme. Great news for black lovers everywhere, these new shades pair perfectly with existing monochrome wardrobes. Knitwear comes in the form of rich raspberry reds, deep blueberry tones and dense saffron shades.
EMBELLISHED JACKETS: Last year saw a surge of embellishments on jackets and coats which continues throughout winter. Decorated coats and jackets, while lavish, are also more refined in their detailing. Think finer crystals designed in styles featuring cleaner lines. Beaded embroidery continues for evening – only with even more sequins added than in previous years.
ART ATTACK: While the political landscape on the global stage feels uneasy at the best of times, high-fashion has become decidedly more playful. Dolce & Gabbana sent models down the runway in a thrashing display of hip-hop princesses and modern Shakespeare muses. Closer to home, Trelise Cooper saw butterflies painted on camouflage jackets and bold “I Got This” slogans painted across long utilitarian coats.
KIMONO ME PRETTY: Love them or loathe them, printed and textured kimonos continue their reign through winter and into Spring/Summer. A god-send on fuller arms, a well-placed Kimono can hide a multitude of sins. Worn over a sleek black dress or narrow pants and floaty top – the kimono delivers an air of fashion confidence on even the chilliest winter night. The new season kimonos are adorned with artful prints and velvet cuffs and lapels.
And now for…THE TRENDS TO RETIRE: While these styles have served us well, it’s time to say good-night (for now anyway) to: 1. Over-the-knee suede boots. 2. Bare-shoulder tops. 3. Ironic branded tees. The sun has set for you – quite literally!